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Featured Funeral Homes:
Detroit Memorial Park
2658 W Grand Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan

Laird Funeral Home
310 S State Street
Elgin, Illinois

Dietz Memorial Company
500 La Salle Avenue
Robinson, Texas

Cedar Lawn
634 S Columbia Drive
West Columbia, Texas

Selecting a Headstone


Selecting a Headstone or Monument


When choosing a grave marker you will need to do some research and consider several different things.  Your research and considerations can be made much simpler by starting your shopping at a local monument shop.  It’s better to keep your shopping local at the beginning because you will want to ask your monument dealer about the following issues; what are the size limitations put in place by the cemetery you have selected-these will vary depending on the size of the plot and the location of the plot you have chosen, does your plot have height restrictions in place-all cemeteries have their own regulations regarding this issue.  Once you have determined all of the rules you must adhere to based on the cemetery you have settled on you can begin choosing the look of the grave marker.

There are several options available when you are ready to select a grave marker.  Some of the more common choices are the traditional headstone, a plaque, a monument, or a wall marker.  The type of marker you select will depend on the intended usage of the grave site as well as the above mentioned regulations.

When a plot has been selected you should consider whether the size of the plot allows for one, two or more people to be buried in it.  Some cemeteries have regulations regarding this as well.  If you have purchased a single burial plot you should begin looking at single person plaques, headstones or monuments.  If you have selected a family or couples plot you will need to begin looking at monuments that have room for two people’s information or the whole family’s information respectively.

After speaking with the local monument dealer if you have determined that a traditional headstone is appropriate for your loved one you should begin considering things like what material you with to have the stone made from.  Some common choices are marble, granite and bronze.  All grave markers with the exception of the wall marker can be made of any of the aforementioned materials.

Some cemeteries have regulations regarding the height of the monument that you choose and this might require you to begin looking at a plaque.  Plaques are more or less the same as a headstone with the exception of the fact that they lay flat on the ground at the head of the grave instead of standing straight upward.

Monument is a word that is often used as a sort of umbrella term which is often used to refer to any type of grave marker.  For the purposes of this article Monument will refer to only those grave markers that stand more than two feet tall and have sculptures incorporated in them.  These types of grave markers are a popular choice among the very wealthy; this is the case because they are generally very expensive and require placement in specific sections of the cemeteries.  These monuments are also purchased in some cases by families who have purchased an over sized plot that is intended to hold all or a large portion of their loved ones remains.

Decorating a grave marker is a big decision and should not be taken lightly.  The design and text you select will depend on the type of grave you are marking of course.  Grave markers traditionally include text in a bold font that includes the name of the deceased with their date of birth and date of their death.  You might also include pictures or carvings of your loved one or some of their favorite things.  Unicorns are common for young women where traditional crosses are common for older men, and praying hands are common for Christians.  There is virtually no limit to what you can have inscribed on your marker.    

Choosing a text inscription, also known as an epitaph, can be a hard decision to make.  Most people will choose simple text that describes the deceased.  Something such as “Loving wife and caring mother” or “A young love lost much too soon” are common sentiments and certainly are acceptable. You might want to consider something that is not only very personal to the individual who is buried there, but something that when others look at it they agree, that it definitely speaks to the person’s personality.  Some people in history have selected epitaphs that have remained in the spotlight for hundreds of years after their loved ones passed either because they were so entertaining, or so touching.  These sorts of commemorations of your loved one are perfectly acceptable as well as long as their epitaph truly speaks to who they are.  You might consider asking other family members for help making this decision if you can.

If your loved one was cremated you may have decided to store their remains in a niche wall.  If this is the case you may only choose a wall marker as there is no surface area on the ground to place a grave marker of any sort.  This will make your job much easier.  The most common option in this case is to simply mark the wall covering where your loved ones remains are located with the traditional first and last name as well as the date of birth and the date of death. This is a very economical choice.  Many couples choose this options when they find either two vacant niche wall plots, or one double niche wall plot.  With this options you may also be given the option in the future of relocated your loved ones remains to another plot or a into a ground burial plot if the cemetery and local burial regulations permit.

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